Derby Party Essentials

It’s almost Derby Day in my old hometown, which involves at least two weeks of events leading up to two minutes of horse racing. The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously running sports event in American history. The parties are a big deal, and I have hosted a few. Through the years, certain recipes and dishes have emerged as essentials to serve at any Derby-theme gathering.

Benedictine Spread or Dip

My favorite recipe for Benedictine Spread is the one published by Southern Living:

Benedictine spread is easy using a food processor.

Derby Pie®️

If you like a custard pie with chocolate chips and walnuts, you’ll love Derby Pie®️! There are many copycat versions, but buy the real deal if possible.

Mint Julep

There are variations, but basically a Mint Julep requires only fresh mint leaves, Kentucky bourbon (must be Kentucky bourbon!), a simple syrup made with sugar and water cooked ahead of time and chilled, and crushed ice. Virgin Mint Juleps are great, too. My favorite recipe is Paula Deen’s: Her recipe starts with a mint-infused simple syrup. Yum.

Kentucky Hot Brown

In listing the essentials, I must include the Kentucky Hot Brown. It’s an open-faced sandwich eaten with a knife and fork. The KHB was created in the mid 1920s at the Brown Hotel to feed the late night dance crowds. Basically, it’s turkey on Texas toast topped with plum tomatoes and a cheese sauce browned under a broiler. An easy recipe is found at A Taste of Home:

These are my favorite “essentials” although others might argue that I omitted Bourbon balls, Pimento cheese, and Horseradish Deviled Eggs. However you celebrate the Kentucky Derby, remember to wear your lavish bonnet if you’re a lady and your red rose boutonnière if you’re a gentleman.

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My Favorite Turkey Leftover Dish

There are many ways to use those leftovers from holiday turkey. I’ve blogged about creative turkey leftover meals, including White Bean Chili. White bean chili is my favorite leftover dish.

In case you missed it, here’s the link: White Bean Chili.

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Hasty Tasty Apple Cobbler

If you follow me, you’ve guessed by now that I prefer easy yet healthier cooking. I can’t claim apple cobbler is figure-friendly, but I did lighten it a bit. Here’s how to make my HastyTasty Apple Cobbler.


  • One Krusteaz Cinnamon Swirl Crumb Cake & Muffin Mix
  • One can apple pie filling (no HFCS*)
  • Half tablespoon butter
  • One serving egg substitute or one egg
  • Three-fourths cup liquid (water, milk, or buttermilk)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Grease a 9X9” baking pan with butter.
  • Cover bottom of the pan with apple pie filling.
  • Remove the cinnamon sugar pouch from the muffin mix and sprinkle about one-third over the apples.
  • In a large bowl, mix together egg and liquid. Add one-third of the cinnamon sugar and stir.
  • Stir in the batter mix with the egg and liquid. Batter will be stiff.
  • Drop spoons full over all the apple pie filling.
  • Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over batter and gently press in until apple filling is completely covered.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes. Rotate pan after 20 minutes for even baking.
  • Allow finished cobbler to cool ten minutes.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping, if desired.
Spread apple pie filling on bottom.
Batter will be stiff.
Drop scoops of batter over the apples.
Top with cinnamon mixture.

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Filed under Apple Cobbler, cinnamon, desserts

Coleslaw with Buttermilk Dressing

Homemade coleslaw is easy, especially if you pick up a package of slaw mix in the produce section. It’s less expensive, though, to shred your own cabbage and carrots, especially using a food processor.

As for dressing, don’t be tempted by jars of prepared slaw dressing. As with most dressings, you get ingredients you may not want. It’s easy to mix mayonnaise with vinegar, lemon juice, and sour cream for traditional dressing. But don’t be afraid to experiment.

This week I decided to experiment with other ingredients. That’s how I developed my new favorite slaw dressing. Give it a try and see what you think.


Buttermilk Dressing For Coleslaw


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced or minced
  • Other seasonings to taste (celery seed, dill, etc)


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings. You may prefer more vinegar or a squeeze of lemon. When you are satisfied with the taste, add cabbage slaw mix to the dressing. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour. Overnight is better. Toss again before serving.

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